Thursday, May 30, 2024
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Interest in domestic travel insurance doubles

A quarter of Kiwis are now more likely to purchase domestic travel insurance than 12 months ago, research by Southern Cross Travel Insurance has found.

The study, which was commissioned by the leading travel insurer and surveyed a thousand Kiwis nationwide, found there was a heightened sense of what could go wrong on holiday following the global pandemic this year.

Just 11 per cent of Kiwis purchased domestic travel insurance last year before the outbreak of COVID-19, but the new study reveals 27 per cent of Kiwis now intend to buy it ahead of their next domestic holiday.

The main reasons for this shift are:

  • concerns that travel may be impacted in some way e.g. cancellations (57 per cent).
  • becoming more aware of the importance of having domestic travel insurance (38 per cent).

SCTI has responded to these changing travel trends and launched a comprehensive domestic travel insurance product to give Kiwis peace of mind while on holiday in New Zealand.

"Kiwis have told us when looking for domestic travel insurance they want cancellation cover, theft and loss of luggage and rental car excess reduction – so we’ve tailored our product to include these benefits," says SCTI chief executive Jo McCauley.

"Many Kiwis taking a road trip don’t often realise that purchasing domestic travel insurance can be more cost-effective than paying for excess reduction directly through a rental car company."

SCTI has calculated that a customer could pay approximately $90-95- for a seven-day domestic travel insurance policy for two adults aged 35 years-old and two dependent children, which includes cover for their rental vehicle excess.

Jo says when someone hires a car, an excess is usually charged if the car is damaged or stolen which can be thousands of dollars.

"If you want to reduce this excess to something more affordable, an additional daily fee needs to be paid. We’ve calculated that when hiring a typical family car over seven days, this could cost several hundred dollars – much more than taking out domestic cover with SCTI."

Jo says SCTI has strengthened its commitment to transparency and providing excellent customer service by writing its new policy in plain language.

"We know nobody likes to read the small print but it’s incredibly important our customers know what they’re covered for. We are pleased to launch a policy for the first time in plain language and we look forward to introducing it to some of our other popular policies soon.

"SCTI is the first travel insurer in New Zealand to have its domestic travel insurance policy awarded the Write Mark. This is an independent endorsement awarded to documents that achieve a high standard of plain language."

Jo says this duty of care has always been at the heart of its customer service, but it’s never been more important than during SCTI’s response to COVID-19.

"We have been here for our customers from the start of the pandemic, helping to get Kiwis stranded overseas home safely. We have also been proactive in offering refunds for policies and waiving cancellation fees for customers that have not been able to travel due to the ongoing global travel restrictions."

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